February 10, 2002

You know, there is a little bit of math involved in the SPAM mail business. It isn't like mainstream advertising, where it is difficult to measure the effectiveness. Those multi-million dollar ads for Coke and Pepsi don't generate a report that tells the makers how much product was moved as a direct result of 30 seconds of Superbowl airtime. But in the SPAM email business, you send out hundreds of thousands of emails, all with a hyperlink to a page you want someone to click on. It is a page that will have a call to action, an order form or a 1-800 phone number where a person (victim of your spamming) can become your customer. And you can measure that. All webservers keep track of how many times a page is displayed, and with a little know-how, you can get detailed reports about the traffic that your little email blast generates. Just by using a little different URL on each different email, you can see which ones performed better, which generated the most traffic. But, as I found out today, there are some spammers that not only don't care about reporting and getting better at what they do. All they care about is spam for spam's sake. They have to send out spam, and they don't care if you read it, they don't care if you click on one single link in their email. Do you want to know how I know this? Because I have been clicking on their links, and none of them work. Most of them are just malformed and would never be recognized by a webserver. If a URL doesn't have .com, .edu, .net, .org, .ws or some ending domain, a webserver can't convert it into an IP address for a site. For example, http://www.stopEarHair.forever/ is not going to work. Neither is http://celeb.nudes.naked won't either. So I am left to think that spam has become an eDrug, an eDiction that forces morons to create and distribute messages that have no impact on anyone's eBusiness bottom line. They do it because they can, not because they actually have a product or a service to offer. This troubles me. I had thought I was pretty open minded about the things that happen on the internet. But as a person who is about as famous as me once said, "Ya'll are dumb."